Bake a batch of spiced Overnight Vegan Hot Cross Buns! This easy hot cross buns recipe happens to be vegan, and is made even simpler the night before for fresh warm buns on Easter morning!
Over the years, I have made so many versions of hot cross buns. Each year, I try a new recipe, and until now, I haven’t found one that I really was excited to share, that was the right mixture of simplicity and deliciousness.
Hot Cross Buns are not part of my culinary history — as a little girl, I don’t recall my mother ever making them, so it’s not like I had a go-to recipe in her binder to turn to. My search over the years made me realize, though, that it’s not unlike some of the brioche breads she would bake for us, and I thought that the batch I made last Easter was the one, until now.
I honestly would have made those again, but this year, with my husband on approximately week 9 of being vegan, I wanted to try a non-dairy hot cross bun that he could enjoy, too.
What surprised me was how this recipe is my favorite of them all, and for the whole family, too!
“Mmmm! 11 out of 10!” my daughter proclaimed as she asked for seconds. I can’t tell you how gratifying it was to hear since she has been pretty critical lately, you would think her last name was Ramsey.
This is the ONE, you guys. And yes, it happens to be vegan.
Now, here’s the thing. Hot cross buns are best when they’re fresh out of the oven, but like cinnamon rolls, they are a bit of a labor of love, since it requires two rises. If you’re an early riser or you simply want to make a batch in advance so you can make Hot Cross Bun Pain Perdu, then you can, of course, make this in one day (and I provide instructions for that below).
But, if want to enjoy this on Easter morning with your coffee and brunch, then making overnight hot cross buns are the way to go. It’s really quite simple. Make the dough and let it do the first rise the day before, then form the buns and let it rise overnight! While the oven preheats, just pull the preformed buns out of the refrigerator, pop it in the oven, and they’ll be ready before the kids are clamoring for their egg hunt!
Overnight Vegan Hot Cross Buns
- 65 g vegan butter (5 tablespoons)
- 50 g granulated sugar (1/4 cup)
- 250 ml unsweetened almond milk (9 oz)
- 7 g active dry yeast (1 packet)
- 400 g all-purpose flour (2 3/4 cup)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 6 oz currants
- Coconut oil for greasing
- 25 g all-purpose flour (1/4 cup)
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tablespoon apricot or peach jam
- 1/4 cup apricot or peach jam
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- Heat the vegan butter in a small saucepan over low heat until melted. Turn off heat, and stir in the sugar and almond milk, stirring until dissolved. Sprinkle the yeast over the milk, and stir. Let it sit for two minutes.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves until well combined. Make a well in the center and pour the milk mixture. Use a sturdy spatula to mix the dough together until it comes together and is shaggy.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, gradually adding the currants to the dough, for about 5 minutes, or until the dough is soft and pliable.
- Lightly grease a large bowl with coconut oil and place the dough inside. Brush the dough lightly with oil and cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm spot to rise until the dough has doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.
- When the dough has doubled in size, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and punch it down slightly. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces (if you have a kitchen scale, this helps. I portion each piece to be about 68-70g each).
- Lightly grease a 13x9 baking dish or sheet pan and line with parchment paper. Form the dough into balls by pulling each piece under so that the top is domed. Place each piece about 1/2 inch from each other.
To Rise Overnight:
- Cover the tray with oiled plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to rise overnight. The following morning, pull the tray out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature. If the buns are not quite proofed and touching one another, give it a little more time in a warm spot.
To Bake the Same Day:
- Lightly cover the tray with oiled plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to rise a second time for about 45 minutes, or until the buns are just touching one another.
When Ready to Bake:
- Preheat the oven to 375°F with a rack placed in the center of the oven.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and water, adding extra drops of water if necessary. You want the consistency to be thick, but a consistency that you can pipe. Place the paste in a piping bag with a fine tip or in a resealable bag with the corner cut. Pipe crosses onto the tops of the buns.
- Whisk together the almond milk and jam to make an “egg wash.” Use a pastry brush to lightly brush on the buns.
- Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack. Whisk together the jam and maple syrup and brush the glaze on the buns while they are still warm.
- Enjoy the hot cross buns while warm.